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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Passed | | Drama, War | 24 August 1930 (USA)
A German youth eagerly enters World War I, but his enthusiasm wanes as he gets a firsthand view of the horror.


Lewis Milestone


Erich Maria Remarque (by), Maxwell Anderson (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Wolheim ... Kat
Lew Ayres ... Paul (as Lewis Ayres)
John Wray ... Himmelstoss
Arnold Lucy ... Kantorek
Ben Alexander ... Kemmerich (as Kemmerick)
Scott Kolk ... Leer
Owen Davis Jr. ... Peter
Walter Rogers ... Behn (as Walter Browne Rogers)
William Bakewell ... Albert
Russell Gleason ... Mueller
Richard Alexander ... Westhus
Harold Goodwin ... Detering
Slim Summerville ... Tjaden (as 'Slim' Summerville)
G. Pat Collins ... Bertinck (as Pat Collins)
Beryl Mercer ... Paul's Mother


This is an English language film (made in America) adapted from a novel by German author Erich Maria Remarque. The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War 1 by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals. As the boys witness death and mutilation all around them, any preconceptions about "the enemy" and the "rights and wrongs" of the conflict disappear, leaving them angry and bewildered. This is highlighted in the scene where Paul mortally wounds a French soldier and then weeps bitterly as he fights to save his life while trapped in a shell crater with the body. The film is not about heroism but about drudgery and futility and the gulf between the concept of war and the actuality. Written by Michele Wilkinson, University of Cambridge Language Centre, <mw125@cus.cam.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


War weary-Love Starved Youth! Not the story of one man, one girl- but the story of a million men, a million girls! (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Press, ((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 5 September 1930) See more »


Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Zasu Pitts was originally cast as Mrs. Bäumer (mother of Lew Ayres' character Paul Bäumer). Only the preview audience saw the version with Pitts. Because she was more known for comedy, the audience reportedly began laughing when Pitts appeared onscreen. Consequently all her scenes were re-shot, with Pitts being replaced by Beryl Mercer. Contrary to long-standing rumor, she did not appear in the silent version of this film that was simultaneously produced and released for theaters not yet wired for sound; nor does she appear in the international sound version. However, she DOES appear briefly in the original 1930 trailer for the silent version, a scene of her in bed. See more »


As men are seen being shot by a German machine gun, they are seen just falling down dead. In reality, the power from such weapons was so great that the fire blew large chunks of the target's body away. By example, a single volley at Passchendale ripped both my grandfather's left leg and arm completely off, although, miraculously, he did survive. See more »


[first lines]
Man cleaning doorknob: Thirty thousand.
Maid: From the Russians?
Man cleaning doorknob: No, from the French. From the Russians we capture more than that every day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Later reissues of the film mentioned that the film was an Academy Award winner in the opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The cover for the 2002 Norwegian VHS by Basic Publishing states that the film runs for 130 minutes. However, the film itself is actually heavily cut, running for only approximately 98 minutes. See more »


Referenced in Castle: Crossfire (2016) See more »


All Quiet on the Western Front
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Lou Handman
Lyrics by Bernie Grossman
See more »

User Reviews

Where Only the Shells Sing
23 March 2018 | by TweetienatorSee all my reviews

Besides Kubrick's Path to Glory imo the best movie on WWI and one of the best (anti-)war movies of all time.

The true excellence of this movie is not only in the war scenes and the acting but in the characterization of the soldier's nature and the nature of war. On top, you get a feel for the war of the trenches - without bombastic and shallow theatrical music like recently in Nolan's (imo far overrated) "drama" Dunkirk who tries to make drama with dramatic music where enough drama already should be. The only "sound-effects" in All Quiet on the Western Front are those of war - the screams of the soldiers, the "singing" of flying shells and the many explosions and the sounds of guns.

Whereas the remake with "Sonnyboy" Richard Thomas (playing Paul Baumer) from 1979 is also a good one, the adaption from 1930 of Erich Maria Remarque's epic is imo the more intense and superior one.

Fantastic movie, especially for all young who never watched this piece, watch.

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English | French | German | Latin

Release Date:

24 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All Quiet on the Western Front See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (BBFC submission before censorship) | (restored) | (copyright length) | (DVD) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Silent (synchronized music score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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